Ocala Police Department has arrested 74-year-old Florida man Victor Buttermoore for allegedly spray-painting racist graffiti on the van of a Black-owned beauty business.
The van belongs to Aniyah Williams, a Black woman in Gainesville who operates the Fancy Hair Collection beauty service. Williams’ van was parked outside of a graphics shop, Screaming Aero Graphix. The shop had newly added photo images of Black women on the van’s exterior.
Video footage showed a male suspect driving into the area and spray-painting the letters “KKK” in red paint on the van’s side. The alleged vandal also spray-painted a crudely drawn noose around one of the women’s heads, Ocala-News.com reported.
The KKK refers to the Ku Klux Klan, an anti-Black terrorist group that has murdered Black Americans and their allies throughout history.
“If for one second you don’t believe there’s no longer such a thing as ‘racism’ … our Fancyhairco mobile truck didn’t even make it out of the shop without being vandalized by a Caucasian male,” Williams wrote in a Facebook post containing images of the vandalized vehicle. “The nerve to spray paint KKK & ropes around our necks. This is absolutely unacceptable.”
Security camera footage captured the suspect wearing a blue hooded jacket and a dark baseball cap while vandalizing the van.
Police later arrested Buttermoore. Police said that he vandalized Williams’ van because he was angry that one of his employees had stopped working at his graphics company, Signs Unlimited Sea, Inc., and began working at Screaming Aero Graphix instead.
Buttermoore remains detained at the Marion County Jail as he awaits his first court appearance. Police charged the man with felony criminal mischief. He could face a maximum prison sentence of five years if convicted.
Newsweek contacted Fancy Hair Collection for comment.
Earlier this month, a jury in Daytona, Florida convicted 34-year-old Kyle Christiansen for spray-painting anti-Asian slurs on a family’s vehicles in July 2020. The slurs read, “Die G**k Rat” and “G**k R****d Rat.” Christiansen also placed nails in the family’s driveway.
Police said that Christiansen targeted the family because of their Asian race. The jury convicted him on two counts of criminal mischief with hate crime enhancements. He now faces up to 30 years in prison for the second-degree felonies, WNDB reported.
He remains in the custody of the Volusia Sheriff’s Office. He’ll stay there until his July 13 sentencing hearing.
“Bigotry exists in our communities,” prosecuting state attorney R.J. Larizza said. “It is important to shine a light on it when we can so that folks can see its ugly face.”